The global spend on digital transformation is estimated to have grown by 10,4% in 2020, according to IDC, and around 89% of companies are on track with their digital-first business strategies, says IDG. While PwC’s 2020 Global Digital IQ report underscored the growing reliance on digital transformation when it revealed that 52% of companies are planning to reduce their investments due to COVID-19, it is telling that only 9% of those are cutting digital transformation. With benefits that include improvements in customer experiences, operational efficiencies, and revenue generation, it is easy to see why digital transformation remains a leading investment at a time when most other areas of business have hit pause. Yet, according to Gudani Luvhani, executive member of Sonke Telecom, none of these benefits are even remotely within arm’s reach if the organisation does not invest in reliable and relevant connectivity.
“If you were to use the analogy of human anatomy, digital transformation is the heart – it is the reason why systems are moving and blood is pumping and solutions are evolving,” he adds. “Connectivity is the blood itself – it is the essential ingredient that ensures the heart can move, that the other parts of the business can function, and that everything operates as it should. Without it, the business is never going to fully realise the value and potential of digital or transformation.”
It seems obvious that a lack of connectivity would limit technology, but not all connectivity solutions are created equal. Poor connectivity is as limiting as none. Digital transformation with a weak connectivity foundation will be stretched thin in its ability to fully realise its potential and will likely only cause more frustration than not. A fact borne out by the digital transformation stories that did not come with a happy ending: McKinsey’s research found that around 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail, with only 16% of employees experiencing any kind of improvement in performance or system. These statistics are influenced by multiple factors, but connectivity remains an essential part of any successful digital transformation initiative.
“The ability to fully leverage the cloud and its myriad capabilities relies on having robust and reliable connectivity,” says Luvhani. “Without it, systems will slow, operations will struggle, and processes will not flow. There can be no digital transformation without connectivity, and by this it should be taken as – there can be no digital transformation without agile and reliable connectivity.”
If the organisation is about to invest in the latest digital platform, cloud solution and security system, then it stands to reason that a high-end connectivity solution should be part of the package. By ensuring that the business has the latest connectivity solutions, it will be ready to take full advantage of the data-hungry applications that are served on the cloud - applications that can make a significant difference to the business bottom line and growth.
“Invest in a connectivity solution that is implemented by a trusted partner,” says Luvhani. “You will want to work with a company that fully understands your business model, your unique requirements, and your market. This will ensure that your connectivity is aligned with your investment – providing you with the correct bandwidth and scope that is futureproof and cost-effective. It is also essential that you ensure you invest in a high uptime SLA connectivity solution for your mission-critical systems and then you can balance this with optional connectivity solutions such as mobile, for different solutions and requirements.”
These boxes are important to tick. Connectivity can be the afterthought, tacked on when suddenly the systems need it, but this can end up costing the business far more than it should. With the right partner and customised approach, you can not only cut down on high costs and unnecessary expenditure, but you can streamline your connectivity to deliver superb cloud and digital performance.
“Fit for purpose connectivity is vital for the long-term success of any digital transformation project,” concludes Luvhani. “Without it, the business can face unexpectedly high costs, reduced productivity and lost opportunities. With it, the company can fully leverage the potential of its digital transformation investment, cut costs, improve productivity and futureproof its cloud journey.”